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Old 09-10-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
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Question How difficult are conservatory auditions for jazz guitar?

So I posted this on Yahoo, but i realized right after that I'd probably get better answers here. I couldn't find any existing threads that helped me, as my questions are a bit specific, but if I missed one feel free to link it to me.

I'm considering applying to a conservatory (specifically nec) for jazz studies on the guitar. I'm wondering what's expected of me at the auditions. The site (http://necmusic.edu/apply-nec/audition/jazz) has some info, but nothing really specific.
For example, it says that there's sight reading, but at what level is the reading? Will it all be single-line stuff, or will there be chords as well? Will I have time to look over the piece, or will I have to read it cold?

I'm supposed to have 3 standards prepared to play and improvise over. But if I practiced them for the audition, who's to stop me from just playing a solo that I've already prepared instead of improvising? I'd like to be honest and actually improvise, but I feel like if I do that I'll be at a disadvantage to all the other applicants faking the improvisation. And how good do they expect me to be at improv?
For the aural section, will I be expected to recognize a dom7#5 chord, or will simple recognition of major vs minor vs aug vs diminished suffice? Something in between?

The site mentions nothing of comping... can I assume that won't be tested?

Basically, if you've ever applied to a conservatory for jazz guitar, esp nec, can you give me as much details about the audition as you're willing to share? Sorry these questions are kinda specific, but I want to go in prepared and right now I feel quite in the dark.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:52 PM   #2
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Have you considered e-mailing a relevant staff member at institution you are auditioning for?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.

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Old 09-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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^^^ Yeah, we get these questions all the time. Ask the place you are auditioning for, or the places you want to audition for, what their expectations are of you at the audition.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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cool username

for me it was a 10-15 minutes audition.
i had to play 2 standards (head + solo) with one transcription (meaning you transcribe a solo of one of the classic jazz guitar guys like Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Grant Green, etc. and play along with the recording perfectly, and of course its better to give them the sheet music of the transcribed solo to impress them).

get professional backing tracks for your 2 standards to practice/play at the audition. the aebersold and hal leonard jazz play alongs are pretty good

It was written on the website that we had also a sight reading test and will be asked scales/arpeggios and improvisation over different progressions but just 2 standards and one transcription was enough for them, they didn't ask more. Maybe they just wanted to scare the people who weren't serious by listing all those requirements or they didn't have enough time left

learn to comp, its important. best way to get in is to take lessons with one of the guitar teachers there or with a good student

Last edited by SuperKid : 09-11-2013 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #5
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thanks superkid for the suggestions.
And yeah I'll try emailing the school to see what they say.
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